When you can add having worked with the likes of R. Kelly, Bebe and Cece Winans, Yolanda Adams, Michael McDonald and Dave Hollister among others to your résumé, you know you’re doing something right.
Chicago-based singer Dante Hall is an independent artist who’s well regarded among his musical peers yet catching fire as an emerging new artist. His debut solo single, “What About My Love,” — a brilliant cover of Johnnie Taylor’s classic — is gaining a growing buzz among music lovers from coast to coast.
Grammy Award-winning producer and artist Donald Lawrence is also singing Hall’s praises.
“Dante is the epitome of ’70s soul meets 2015 new school R&B.” says Lawrence. “The texture of his voice is like a vintage piece of art appreciating with time. He is definitely one you don’t wanna miss!”
Rolling out recently sat down with Hall to talk music, inspiration, and covering Johnnie Taylor’s “What About My Love.”
Who were your musical influences?
Man, I love Donny Hathaway, Frankie Beverly & Maze, Kim Burrell, Stevie Wonder and D’Angelo.
Was there a particular moment when you knew you wanted to seriously pursue music?
Well, I had always been a drummer, but my mom was more known for singing so I was strictly a musician until I was in a record store — back when they still had record stores — with my older brother and “Higher” by D’Angelo came on over the store speakers. I immediately knew that I would stop playing drums and start singing.
Name a song so good you wish you’d wrote it?
“As” by Stevie Wonder.
Name an album that you can always play front to back and never get tired?
So hard to name just one. Voodoo by D’Angelo, Untitled by R. Kelly is amazing, Mama’s Gun by Erykah Badu, and Rapture by Anita Baker are a few of my favorite albums that I can just play from beginning to end.
What’s the best thing about being an artist?
Being able to connect with the audience on an emotional level using your voice is dope. Also connecting with them as people is pretty cool with me. I’m a people person so I don’t shy away from interaction with my supporters and supporters of real music.
Tell us about your new single, “What About My Love,” and why you chose to cover the Johnnie Taylor classic?
My dad is a huge Johnnie Taylor fan, and “What About My Love?” is his favorite tune by him. I’d been singing the song around the city for the last 5 years and would receive huge kudos whenever I did…to the point that people thought it was actually my song. So I thought it would be cool to honor his favorite song (which in turn became my favorite song) while bringing back that feel-good music to the forefront. One day while driving to the store the inspiration hit me. Something told me to turn around and ask my friend and super producer Isaiah Sharkey (of D’Angelo & The Vanguard) if we could recreate that song. He, along with the incredible band and background singers (all from Donald Lawrence & Company of which I am a part) did an amazing job of capturing that grown, feel-good, organic sound. I’m grateful to have my dad’s suggestion, and what I heard in my head, come to life in such a dope way.
How do you use social media to your advantage?
I’m a heavy IG, Facebook, and Twitter user. I use it as a platform to inform my friends and supporters about what’s going on with me personally and in music. I think it’s great that social media is there as a vehicle to bridge the gap between artist and supporter. I take every advantage I get to respond to everyone. I also use YouTube and my website, www.dantesoul.com, as a means to get the word out about all that I have going on.
Name one thing fans would be surprised to know about you?
Although I am a singer, my day job consists of me doing lots of manual labor as I’m in real estate development. The guys I work with in real estate have no clue that I can dust myself off, put on a suit and sing; and the people that see me sing have no idea I can transform into overalls and show them where everything is in a home remodeling store.
What’s next for Dante Hall?
It’s my desire to get the word out about “What About My Love.” both the song and the music video. I’m very proud of this project. And of course, I want to continue putting out great music you can feel.
For more information on Dante Hall, please visit www.dantesoul.com.
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